1 Mar 2018 13:08

Russia should allocate at least 3.4 trln rubles for demographic development within next 6 years - Putin

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) - At least 3.4 trillion rubles should be allocated for demographic development within the next six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday.

"We will have to allocate at least 3.4 trillion rules for demographic development measures and for the welfare of mothers and children within the next six years, Putin said.

"More than 270,000 spots at daycare centers need to be created within three years. To that end, we will extend approximately 50 billion rubles in financial support to the regions from the federal budget," he said.

The demographic problem has an economic dimension, as well, Putin said.

"For example, the working-age population declined by almost one million in 2017. This tendency toward reduction will continue in the next few years, which may become a serious handicap for economic growth; there are simply no workforce resources," he said.

However, it is necessary to respond to these challenges, Putin said, underscoring the need to "ensure sustainable and natural population growth in Russia in the coming decade."

Russia's demographic policy has proven to be effective and will be continued and broadened, he said.

"We have prolonged the maternity capital program and have provided for targeted payments after the birth of the first, second, and third child. Over the next five years, more than half a million families will be able to improve their housing conditions with the help of low-interest mortgage loans," Putin said, adding that "an upgrade program is also being launched at children's outpatient clinics and children's outpatient departments at hospitals."

The problem of kindergartens has generally been resolved, though some issues still remain, he said.

"Now it is necessary to accommodate the needs of families who need spots at daycares, which allow young mothers to continue their education and return to work, if some of them want to, without any detriment to their professional skills," he said.